For many readers, Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient not only delivered a delightful share-with-your-best-friends novel but signaled that more ambitious and encompassing romance reads were finally here. A heroine with Asperger's who made checklists so that she would learn how to do lovemaking correctly, a bighearted hero who evoked comparisons to hot K-drama stars (though he’s Vietnamese-American), and a modern cover that sucked in a wide readership were among the many, many reasons the Amazon editors named The Kiss Quotient as the best romance of 2018.
This month, Hoang continues the stories of the extended Pham and Diep family with The Bride Test (May 7). Michael Pham’s cousin, Khai, believes he has no feelings and is destined to disappoint any woman who falls for him, so he avoids women—and people other than family—as much as possible. But his mom thinks she knows better, and after one of her trips to Vietnam, she brings home to California with her Esme Tran, a potential bride (and secret mother of a 5-year-old). Rather, I should say, she brings Esme to Khai’s home, and Khai’s mother gives both Esme and Khai a summer to figure out if they’re compatible. Khai is determined to outlast his mother’s matchmaking scheme, but Esme has a way of getting under his skin in both bad ways…and good.
We asked Helen Hoang what books she’s been reading and loving lately, and here are her recommendations.
Helen Hoang’s Favorite Recent Reads
Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers) by Penny Reid
Penny is one of my newest favorite authors. She writes with such humor, heart, and depth. In Beard in Mind, she lets us into the mind of Shelly Sullivan, who is a mechanic, interprets things literally, owns a cussing parrot, and happens to have obsessive compulsive disorder. I loved watching her fall for Beau Winston, her perfect match. Oh, and good news, if you love this, there's a book for each Winston sibling in her Winston Brothers series.
Long Shot (Hoops) by Kennedy Ryan
This is a gritty, intense, emotional roller coaster of a book. It deals with domestic abuse, and Kennedy did not hold back when describing those aspects. It's a testament to her talent as a writer that I couldn't stop reading this. It's important, but at the same time, it's a beautiful romance that leaves you feeling warm, empowered, and optimistic.
Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas
This book is just delicious. The forbidden romance between Jordan and her boyfriend's dad, Pike, was surprisingly sweet and downright intoxicating. I read this book in an infatuated fever. This one is perfect for the beach or, if you dislike sand like I do, the pool.
You might also like:
- Editors' picks: Best romances of the month
- Jasmine Guillory's Favorite Recent Reads
- E L James Battles Expectations and Exploitation with “The Mister”
- The 2019 RITA Award Finalists for Romance Writing
- Best romances of 2018
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